2 wins in 2 games for Jose Mourinho in his second stint at Chelsea. A good start results wise, a poor start performance wise. Mourinho will be hoping that the performances will come as the season goes on and the teams gels in, as do many Chelsea fans. Aston Villa was the challenge in the 2nd match, the same Aston Villa who beat Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates in the opening weekend. Aston Villa seem to be the next surprise team along with Southampton and Norwich and their play shows why they could sneak into the top 10 after relegation fears last season. It was a slender 2-1 win for us, not the prettiest or best result, but I’ll take it.
What We Learned:
- Ruthlessness missing
- Lukaku has to start
- Juan Mata out of form
- Time for Ba to go?
1. Ruthlessness missing: Mourinho wants the team to be more ruthless, as his comments suggest. We need to get off to a good start and then destroy our opponents as the match goes on. Mourinho believes it would be difficult for any team to live with his side at the intensity with which they began the season and hopes the Blues can produce the same performance, but for longer.
“If we do that, we destroy an opponent,” Mourinho said.
“Playing that way you have to score goals, even if the opposing goalkeeper saves a penalty.
“We want to win matches, but what I like is that when you have the chance to destroy to beat them by three, four, or five, we have to do it.
“If someone has the chance to do it to you, they will not forgive you, they will give you nothing.
“If someone feels that they can do it to us they will do it – when you are in trouble, they smash you – so if we have the chance to do it, we have to do it. That is football.”
And he’s right. To be champions and to be successful, you have to never let go, never let the foot off the pedal. Examples of this are Mourinho’s first Chelsea, Carlo’s Chelsea and Heynckes’ Bayern Munich. You simply have to press your opponents and take your chances. If you aren’t clinical, you won’t get far in football. Just look at Liverpool and Spurs – good sides with good football, but they don’t take their chances. We must step up the clinical part of our game and keep our foot on the pedal if we want to lift trophies this season. We didn’t do it vs Hull City or Aston Villa when we were presented the opportunity, which gave each opponent the opportunity to get back into the match.
2. Lukaku has to start: While Torres was pretty good against Hull City:
Often peripheral and hasn’t quite tuned into the same wavelength as the rest of Chelsea’s attackers. Won the penalty Lampard missed, and the free kick he scored, but didn’t have a single shot on target and never looked like scoring. (Goal.com). While I will agree that Torres was anonymous, I will also argue that the service was never there as the match progressed. Torres’ movement and passing was brilliant in the first half when we dominated the match. In the second half, we allowed Hull City back into the game and took the foot off the pedal, Torres suffered as a result. The movements and runs decreased as the service decreased, his hungry start was perhaps overshadowed by the lack of service and therefore anonymous performance in the second half. His link-up play could be the main reason he starts this season should we not get Rooney. His passing and movement as I said was very good today, especially in the first half. Let’s see if he can keep it up. (What We Learned Hull City)
Demba Ba was poor today, caught offside way too many times. Unimpressive display from the striker. Constantly caught offside in the first half as he tried to take advantage of Villa’s high defensive line, while his touch was a little heavy. Subbed after 64 minutes. (Goal.com). His poor performance and Torres’ lack of goals opens the door for Romelu Lukaku who created a few chances in both matches as a substitute and seems the most logical option to start. Torres is 2nd due to his link-up play and Ba is last because he just isn’t cutting it.
3. Juan Mata out of form: Our Spanish magician battled injury in the past week or so and wasn’t himself in the Confederations Cup with Spain (maybe because of Spain’s style of play). He has been our best player for the past 2 years and without him, our team isn’t the same. We didn’t see him against Hull City (due to lack of fitness) and he started against Villa and frankly, wasn’t himself. I’m aware he still isn’t fully fit, but for a player of his quality, his lack of form could hurt us. ‘Form is temporary, class is permanent’ – a true mantra/saying, but we’ve seen players go out of form then takes years to come back (Torres) or some take days/weeks. Let’s hope the latter is the case with Juan. Following a busy summer and a restricted pre-season, the Spanish wizard began brightly but fizzled out. Looked heavier of touch and slower of leg and brain than usual. Subbed after 64 minutes. (Goal.com). He is still our best and most influential player and last season without him, we were lost. Let’s hope this season, KDB/Hazard/Oscar will be able to stop that trend and at least lead us to victory when he’s not playing or in form.
4. Time for Ba to go?: As I said, Ba was horrible against Villa and after his sub-par preseason and our hunt for Rooney and two additional strikers (should Rooney not sign), I think Demba Ba could be facing the axe or deemed as surplus to the requirements. He simply hasn’t been as good as he was at Newcastle, not even a shadow of his Newcastle self, he’s been a complete ghost for Chelsea ever since signing. Some argue he needs time just like Torres and maybe he could prove himself in some time, but we simply don’t have the time to wait around for him to get back to his old-self. We did that with Torres and it handicapped our possibilities, hopefully, Demba Ba can turn it around quick for Jose and Chelsea, but I simply don’t see it happening anytime soon which gives me the impression that he could be gone in January or next summer.
- Another 90 for Lampard, will he be a regular or will he be limited?
- Ramires on a good run of form
- Luiz and Azpilicueta obviously missing links in defense
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